Posts Tagged ‘Tools’

Take The Chaos Out Of Your Christmas Card List With Word’s Mail Merge Tool

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

As it is the first Template Tuesday of December, we thought we’d kick things off with a revisit to an old favourite for this time of year; using a mail merge to create Christmas address labels.

Christmas labels using Word Mail Merge

Christmas Address Labels – Getting Started

Before you start, there are three steps to follow:

  • If there is a compatible built-in Avery template, use it. A number of standard label sizes (especially address labels) are compatible as those supplied by Avery – this simply means they use the same label size and layout, so you can print non-Avery labels with an Avery template.
    If there isn’t a compatible Avery template code, you will need to have a copy of a suitable Word label template saved to your device OR the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels. You can find compatible Avery codes (where applicable), Word label templates, and measurement/layout details in our Label Templates section; select your label shape and then label size.
  • Have your list of addresses ready to go; ideally, they should be saved in an Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook Contact List, Office Address List, Word Data File, Access Database, or Text File.
  • When using Word’s Mail Merge tool, we recommend using the Step By Step Wizard, as this will guide you through the process in six easy steps. To do this, click on the Mailings tab at the top of the page, select Start Mail Merge, and then Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard.

Christmas Address Labels – Step One: Select Document Type

The first step is selecting the type of document you want to create; to create Christmas address labels, you need to select “Labels” from the list of options.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Two: Select Starting Document

The second step is selecting the specific document you want to use to create your Christmas address labels. In other words, this is where you select the specific template you want to use. You have THREE options; use a built-in Avery template (best option), create a label template, or use a saved label template.

  • Built in Avery template: select “Change Document Layout” and click on “Label Options”. Set Printer Information to “Page Printers” and Label Vendor to “Avery A4/A5”. Find your Avery code in the list and click OK.
  • Create a template: follow the steps above but instead of choosing an Avery code, you need to click on “New Label”. Enter the measurements and layout details of your sheet labels in the fields provided and click OK.
  • Use a saved template: select “Start From Existing Document” and click on “Open”. Browse to your saved template and open it.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Three: Select Recipients

The third step is selecting your list of addresses. You can opt to enter your addresses manually at this point but its generally quicker and more accurate to use a saved list. Click on “Use an existing list” and browse to your saved list and open it.

If your data source has multiple sections (for example, a spreadsheet with multiple sheets), you will need to indicate which section contains your addresses. You also need to indicate if your list includes column headers (e.g. Name, Postcode etc).

Word then lists the addresses it has found in your data source. You can sort and filter your addresses at this point to exclude any you don’t want to use. Once you confirm you are happy with your list of addresses, Word will add a Next Record rule placeholder (<<NextRecord>>) in all of the blank labels in your template – apart from the top left label.

If you have used a saved label template, you will need to enter these rules yourself. Click inside the second label, then click on the Rules tool in the Mailings tab at the top of the page. Select Next Record from the list to add the rule. You can repeat this process for each blank label in your template (but NOT the top left label) OR use copy and paste. 

Christmas Address Labels – Step Four: Arrange Your Labels

The fourth step is adding your design AND placeholders to your Christmas address labels.

Add your design to the first label and use the “Update all labels” button in the Wizard Panel to copy it into the rest of your blank labels. You can also use this button to replicate any changes you make to the first label across the rest of the template.

This option is not available if you are using a saved template; you will need to use copy and paste to fill in the rest of your template. You must leave the Next Record rule in place – and it must come BEFORE any placeholders in your design (otherwise the label will repeat the address information from the previous label).

Placeholders indicate where information from your address list should go. These placeholders look the same as the Next Record rule BUT instead of “Next Record” they will use the column headers from your list or the title of a preformatted option available from the Wizard Panel (e.g. Address Block, Greeting Line).

To add individual placeholders, click on More Items in the Panel and select your column. Alternatively, click on one of the preformatted options.

For example, the Address Block is a great way to add addresses. If your addresses don’t show up correctly in the preview box, use the Match Fields option to match the elements in the Address Block with the correct columns from your list. Scroll through a few addresses to make sure they will be picked up correctly when you complete the merge.

REMEMBER: the information represented by each placeholder will probably take up more space than the placeholder itself. Make sure your design includes space for the your information in its entirety.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Five: Preview Your Labels

The fifth step allows you to preview your completed Christmas address labels. Use this step to scroll through (at least) a few records to ensure that your design works properly – so that all of your addresses will fit neatly onto each address label. In particular, if you know one address in your list is particularly long, scroll to this record to check how this label turns out.

If you find any problems you can either go back a step to adjust your design OR use the “Edit Recipient List” to manually edit troublesome addresses and make them fit.

Christmas Address Labels – Step Six: Complete The Merge

The sixth step completes your merge and allows you to print your completed Christmas address labels.

We recommend test printing one sheet so you can check the alignment is correct. Click on “Print” and select the “From” option. Set the From/To values to reflect the number of blank labels on your sheet. For example, to print a sheet with 14 labels per sheet, enter 1 and 14.

You also need to review your print settings. Select a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” setting, set the Page Size to A4, and ensure no scaling options are applied (e.g. less than 100% or “Fit to…” options). Use the media bypass tray of your printer (if it has one).

If your address labels are misaligned, adjust your design/template and do another test print to confirm the problem is fixed:

  • If all of your address labels misalign in the SAME direction by the SAME amount, adjust the page margins. Increase or decrease the top page margin to move your designs down or up. Increase or decrease the left page margin to move your designs right or left.
  • If the misalignment gets gradually worse down/across/out from the centre of your sheet, you probably have a scaling issue with your print settings. This can be corrected by checking the print settings as described above. You should also ensure you don’t have options like “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Default/Driver Settings” selected. You can run your device’s main software update tool to ensure you have the latest print driver installed. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, there may be a problem with your template; you will need to check that the template is using the correct measurements and layout.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Top Tips For Creating Christmas Labels, Address Labels, and Gift Tags

Choosing The Right Software / Application To Design & Print Your Own Label Templates

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Choosing the right software / application to design your own label templates can make the whole process a lot easier. So here are our top tips for choosing the right program for the job.

software to design and print label templates

 

Top Tip 1: What Software Do You Have Available To You?

The best place to start is to look the software already installed on your computer. Using existing software means you:

  • Don’t have to pay for new software
  • Will be familiar with that software – so you don’t need to spend time learning how to use new software.

Software is usually created with a specific task (or tasks) in mind; designing label templates is a design-based task so it’s generally best to use design software where possible. If you have label design software installed, all the better, but graphics packages (such as InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) are also great options – especially if you want to create intricate or complex artwork.

Non-design software, however, shouldn’t be ruled out – especially as it may contain some (basic) design tools. For example, Word is extremely popular for designing and printing label templates. It is not design software (it’s a word processor designed to add, edit, and arrange text) BUT it does contain basic design tools and – more importantly – label design tools.

If you don’t have any suitable software / applications installed, you will need to source something appropriate. Try to find something that contains label design tools. Design software is best for more complex design work, although it tends to be more expensive (free options are available). You will need to bear in mind that both free software and non-design software will tend to offer limited design tools, which may limit the level of accuracy and detail you can include in your label design. You should also try to pick software that is suitable to your own level of experience; buying the most complex, expensive label design software isn’t going to do any good if you don’t feel confident enough to use it to design your own label templates.

Top Tip 2: Is Your Software Suitable For Designing Label Templates?

You can use a wide variety of software to design labels – including software not intended for design purposes at all.

Software with (label) design tools and functions will obviously be suitable for designing and printing label templates – but it might not be so easy to work out if other software is suitable.

Generally speaking, if software mentions (label) design tools then it should be perfectly suitable for designing label templates. If it doesn’t, you may wish look at the tools available to see if they are suitable for this purpose.

If you aren’t sure, it may be best to choose an alternative. While you might be able to use the available tools to design labels, this could involve using them in ways they were not intended to be used. This may make it more difficult and time consuming to design your label templates; not only because you’ll need to figure out how to use non-design tools for design purposes but also because this process will probably take more time (and be less accurate) compared to using design tools as they were intended to be used.

You also need to consider the level of accuracy and detail you can achieve with the tools available. Design tools in non-design software (like Word) are always going to be less accurate that those in a design package (such as Illustrator or InDesign). Likewise, freeware might feature less options and less accurate tools. If you want to use non-design software, you may simply need to give it a go and see how far you get – bearing in mind that you may need to adapt your intended design to suit the capabilities of your software.

Essentially, you need to balance what your software can do with the level of detail you want to achieve.

Top Tip 3: How Confident Are You With The Software Available To You?

This last top tip is one that people often overlook. Customers often ask us to recommend the best possible label design software – without realising that this tends to be the most expensive and time-consuming option.

Sometimes using basic software that you are familiar with (and therefore more confident in using) is actually a better option than investing in expensive design software that you have absolutely no idea how to use. One of the biggest hurdles in achieving a detailed AND accurate label design is actually knowing how to use the tools available to you in the most efficient way. This is one of the reasons that Word is such a popular choice. Most people know how to use Word and can create a range of label designs fairly easily and quickly.

This means you actually need to balance what your software can do and the complexity of design you want to achieve, against your own level of experience of performing design-based tasks with a computer.

Top Tips – A Summary

  • If you have suitable software already available – use it! Generally speaking, if your software includes (label) design tools, chances are you’re good to go!
  • Design software is best for design-based tasks BUT not a necessity. Non-design software may do the job just as well.
  • Find a balance between your design complexity, software capability, and your own  knowledge / experience. You don’t need complex design software to create a perfectly good set of labels. Especially if you are creating simpler text-based designs (e.g. address labels, product labels, bottle labels, jar labels etc).

Next Week On Template Tuesday – FAQs About Label Templates & Microsoft Office

Definitions – Standalone Label Templates Versus Design Software

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

In this week’s Template Tuesday, we’ll explain the difference between the two types of label templates: standalone and built-in.

standalone versus built in label templates

Label Templates – What Is A Standalone Template & What Is A Built-In Template?

A standalone template is an individual FILE, while a built-in template is part of a piece of SOFTWARE.

STANDALONE LABEL TEMPLATES: these individual files must be opened using software / an application. They are commonly used for A4 sheets of self adhesive labels, although they can be used for other formats, including roll labels. The A4 format represents the layout of all of the blank labels on a single A4 sheet.

Word label templates use a table to represent the layout of a sheet of blank labels; the cells of the table represent the blank labels and any gaps between the rows and/or columns of blank labels. This means that they can only represent label sheets in the form of a grid of rectangles or squares. They cannot show the outline of different shapes, such as round labels / circular labels or oval labels. PDF label templates use a background layer, which shows the outline of each blank label on an A4 sheet.

BUILT-IN LABEL TEMPLATES: these are built-in to a piece of software / application. They may show the layout of an A4 sheet of blank labels OR they may show the outline of a single label, which is then printed onto all of the blank labels on a sheet or roll (this is most commonly seen in design software / label design software).

Built-in label templates are also present in non-design software. A common example is Microsoft Word, which contains label templates compatible with a range of brand name label products – including Avery labels. These, like standalone Word label templates, use a table to represent an A4 sheet of sticky labels.

Label Templates – What Are The Benefits & Drawbacks Of The Two Types Of Label Templates?

Generally speaking, there are two key differences between the two types of label templates: compatibility and availability.

Compatibility of Label Templates

Built-in label templates are part of your software, which means you won’t run into compatibility problems. Software often fails to detect that standalone files are actually templates and may not recognise all of the elements within these files. Most software will attempt to recreate standalone files as closely as possible using the tools available. This can result in inaccurate measurements and may prevent you from changing specific elements within the template. Alternatively, it may attempt a conversion process – changing your template from its original file format into a native file format. Again, this may not convert the measurements or features of your template accurately.

A file format is the technical standard used to encode information so it can be stored in a computer file. Word files use .docx and PDF files use .pdf file, while image files use a variety of formats including .jpg and .png. The “native” file format is the default format used by your software. Most software can open and/or edit – and convert to/from – a number of formats).

Built-in label templates will also work perfectly with the tools and functions available within your chosen software. This may include specific label design tools, which allow you to create designs quickly using preformatted options, tools, and menus. With a standalone label template, some features may not be available / work properly – because your software doesn’t recognise your file as a template and so doesn’t know how to apply those tools to specific elements within your template.

This may limit the accuracy and detail you can produce in a standalone label template. You may also be limited by standalone templates if non-design software is being used for design purposes – because non-design software is unlikely to have advanced design features like those found in design software / applications.

Availability of Label Templates

Standalone label templates, however, have the edge when it comes to availability. With built-in label templates, you are limited to the options available within your chosen software. This might not be an issue if your software contains a vast list of label sizes and layouts (or gives you the opportunity to create templates based on custom measurements). However, a limited list of options might just make your built-in templates useless.

Many built-in templates use product lists from companies such as Avery, which actually offer far fewer label sizes and layouts than are commonly available elsewhere. This means that you might not be able to find a suitable label template amongst the built-in options. Another issue is that some software will only feature templates based on US standards, including measurements given in inches and a page size of American Letter.

Standalone label templates are often available in a much larger range of label sizes and layouts – AND may be available in a range of file formats and template formats. For example, at Label Planet, we provide standalone label templates in both Word and PDF file formats, as well as a range of template formats including portrait and landscape orientations, text boxes and mirrored text boxes, and bleed templates.

Label Templates – Which One Should I Use?

Ultimately, it is up to you to choose a suitable label template. If you can find a suitable built-in label template in software that you are familiar with and comfortable using, then a built-in template is a good place to start.

If your software doesn’t offer a compatible template then you will need to source a standalone alternative. Remember, here at Label Planet, we supply free standalone label templates for all of our label sizes. Visit our Label Templates Section; select your label shape and label size to view all of the template options and download links.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To – How To Avoid The Nightmare Of Troublesome Label Templates

How To? – How To Use Print Settings To Improve Print Quality & Alignment When Printing Label Templates

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

There are lots of little ways to improve the print quality and alignment you can achieve when printing label templates, simply by being precise and selective with the print settings you pick.

label templates misalignment problems

Why Are Print Settings So Important When Printing Label Templates?

You might assume that whatever your label template looks like on your computer screen, that is what it will look like when you press print. This, however, is not always the case.

When printing label templates, a number of steps take place:

  1. Your software sends your label template to another piece of software called the printer driver.
  2. The printer driver converts your label template into a language that your printer can understand. This is a Page Description Language; it describes the content and layout of your template in the form of a series of geometric lines and shapes that are defined by mathematical equations.
  3. This description of your label template is then converted into a bitmap image; a rectangular grid made up of pixels (picture elements or dots).
  4. Your printer then recreates this bitmap image on your sticky labels. It uses the print settings that you have selected (or else the default settings stored in the printer driver).

This means that the alignment and quality of the label template on your screen can be significantly altered during the printing process. These alterations often depend on the print settings you have (or haven’t) taken the time to select.

Which Print Settings Should I Look Out For When Printing Label Templates?

There are a number of print settings to look out for when printing label templates (or even test printing label templates!).

Printing Label Templates & Page Size

You must select a page size of A4 or you will not get the correct alignment. Some printers store the page size used for the previous print job. All printers may default at times to settings stored in the print driver. The default page size may not be A4. Some drivers default to the American page size standard known as American Letter – or Letter.

Printing Label Templates & Media Type/Weight

You also need to select a print setting that is appropriate for self adhesive labels. Sticky labels and standard sheets of paper are two very different print media. For a start, self adhesive labels are much thicker. They are also made of a wide range of materials (including special coatings and finishes), which can influence the quality of your print. To ensure the highest possible print quality, you need to select a print setting designed for printing onto different materials.

This is because media type/weight settings alter how your printer works to ensure your print is always applied as efficiently as possible. Laser printers run more slowly and increase the heat applied during printing. Inkjet printers will also alter the dispersal of inks and slow down to ensure that your print is perfect.

Some printers separate media type (e.g. paper, labels, envelopes etc) and media weight (usually expressed as grammage – or gsm), while others lump them together. Ideally, you should use a specific “Labels” setting, along with a weight that matches your sticky labels.

Our Material Specification Sheets include the weight of each of our products; these can be found on each range page or by visiting our List Of Material Specification Sheets page.

Alternatively, you should opt for a “Heavy Paper” setting or the most suitable option available. Some manufacturers provide guidance in the printer’s manual on the best print settings to use for specific print media.

Printing Label Templates & (Printer) Resolution

Your printer’s resolution refers to the amount of detail that your printer can reproduce in a given area. A higher printer resolution means that your printer can include more detail, which is needed to accurately reproduce high resolution artwork.

Regardless of the level of printer resolution your printer can achieve, most printers default to a lower printer resolution. This is because basic day-to-day print jobs do not require a high printer resolution. A basic resolution of 300 x 300 dpi (dots of ink/toner per inch) is good enough for standard documents.

If you want to print images or high resolution digital artwork or photography onto your sticky labels, you will need to select a higher level of printer resolution. These may be referred to in a number format (e.g. 300 x 300 dpi/300 dpi) or with a descriptive title (e.g. “Good”). 300 dpi is usually “Normal” or “Good”, 600 dpi is “High”, while 1200 dpi (capable of reproducing high resolution digital photographs) is “Best” or “Photo”.

Printing Label Templates & Scaling

Never use scaling options when printing label templates. This includes any percentage less than 100% or “Fit To” options, such as Fit to Page and Fit to Sheet. If you have an “Actual Size” option, use it to help prevent scaling problems.

Printing Label Templates & Edge-To-Edge “Borderless” Printing

If your self adhesive labels sit very close to or at the edges of your A4 sheets, you may need to turn on your printer’s edge-to-edge printing feature – if it has this option. Most standard desktop printers cannot print all the way to the edge of an A4 sheet. This creates an “unprintable” border around the edges of your self adhesive labels where your printer cannot reach. If your design falls into this area, you will need to turn on your printer’s “edge-to-edge” function, which allows it to print the full area of an A4 sheet. If your printer doesn’t offer this function, you will need to adjust your design to ensure that it doesn’t fall into the areas on your A4 sheets of sticky labels that your printer cannot print.

Printing Label Templates & Default Settings

Some printers will also have options called “Ignore Printer Settings” / “Use Default Settings” / “Use Driver Settings”. These should NOT be selected as they will instruct your printer to ignore your carefully chosen print settings in favour of the default settings stored in the printer driver.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Definition – What Is A Printer Driver & Why Are They So Important For Printing Label Templates?

How To? – Improve The Alignment Of Your Label Templates Using Your Printer

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Did you know – you can actually improve the alignment when printing label templates simply by making the most of your printer’s specifications, special features, and print settings.

label templates misalignment problems

Printing Label Templates – Printer Specifications

It matters whether or not your printer was designed for printing self adhesive labels. This doesn’t mean that you need a “label printer” – i.e. a printer designed only for printing self adhesive labels. You simply need to know that self adhesive labels are ONE of the media types your printer can process.

Printers designed with self adhesive labels in mind will have specifications that suit the slightly different printing process required to print sheets of sticky labels compared to other print media – such as paper, card, envelopes, photograph paper etc.

you can find your printer’s specification in its manual or on the website of the manufacturer/supplier.

Printers designed to handle self adhesive labels and/or thicker print media will always produce higher quality print and alignment when printing label templates. Multifunction (e.g. “all-in-one”) and dedicated application printers (e.g. “photo printers”) that can only process paper or specific print media may not be able to print label templates accurately – if at all.

Ideally, you want a dedicated printer that lists self adhesive labels as a media type that it can print.

Printing Label Templates – Printer Special Features

Printers designed to print self adhesive labels will have various features that allow it to perform this particular function.

Perhaps the most important feature is the presence of a media bypass tray. This is a secondary tray that usually sits just above or below the main paper tray. The main paper tray is designed to handle standard sheets of paper. The media bypass tray is designed specifically to process thicker media – like self adhesive labels. It also offers a straighter path through the printer – by bypassing at least one set of rollers. This reduces the chances of sheets rotating as they are pulled through the printer.

To make the most of your media bypass tray, you should load your sheet labels carefully. First, fan them out to disperse any static build up. Next, tap them gently against a solid, level surface (like a desk) to make sure the sheets make a neat stack. Load them into the media bypass tray and make sure they are perfectly straight. Finally, position the tray guides firmly and levelly against the edges of your sheets. This helps to ensure that every sheet is drawn into the printer evenly, reducing the chances of your sheets rotating as they are printed.

Please note: you should also follow these steps even if your printers doesn’t have a media bypass tray!

Printing Label Templates – Print Settings

Finally, the print settings you choose also influence how well (or not) your designs align on your sticky labels.

First, make sure you don’t have any size or scaling options applied. Go into Printer Properties or Printing Preferences to check that:

  • The Page Size is A4.
  • No scaling options are selected (including a percentage less than 100% or “Fit To…” options, such as Fit To Sheet or Fit To Page).
  • No options such as “Ignore Printer Settings” or “Use Driver Settings”/“Use Default Settings” are selected.

Next, select an appropriate print setting for the media type you are printing. Some printers offer a specific “Labels” print setting. If your printer doesn’t offer this option, use the most suitable alternative – such as “Heavy Paper”.

In laser printers, these settings cause your printer to use more heat and run more slowly. This helps the toner to bond more effectively with your sticky labels and reduces the chances of sheet rotation and misalignment. Inkjet printers will also run differently to allow the inks to dry more efficiently in place.

Some printers will allow you to choose specific print settings for the print media AND the print weight/thickness, while others combine these settings together.

You may also have a print quality option, which determines the level of printer resolution. Generally, these settings have descriptive names, such as Fine, Best, Normal, Good, and Draft. Selecting a higher printer resolution will cause your printer to run more slowly, improving the accuracy of alignment you can achieve.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To? – How To Use Print Settings To Improve Print Quality & Alignment When Printing Label Templates

How To? – How (And Why) You Should Use Text Boxes In Word Label Templates

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

This week, we’re taking a look at just how useful text boxes can be in Word label templates.

You might think that it’s far easier to simply type your text into your template. Or just use copy and paste.

However, there are some benefits to using text boxes in Word label templates that might just make you reconsider. Especially if you want your label design to contain lots of different sections or areas of text.

USING TEXT BOXES IN WORD LABEL TEMPLATES – THE BENEFITS

There are two main benefits to using text boxes instead of simply typing in your text.

  1. You can get greater control over the positioning of specific areas of text.
  2. You can take advantage of the text box formatting tools to add additional design elements.

The former applies to label designs made up of multiple elements.

For example, you may have a design containing an image and some text. Putting your text into a text box creates two single objects that you can format and position. This is easier than trying to position an image relative to text that you have typed into your template. It can also give you greater control over the positioning of both elements, provide more formatting options, and allow you to create more sophisticated designs made up of overlapping layers.

Alternatively, you might have a bunch of text that you want to break up into separate sections, which you can then individually position around your design. For example, you might want a product name at the top, product information in the bottom left corner, and company information in the bottom right corner. You could try typing in all of that information and then manually spacing it out to create your required layout. A better solution is to use three separate text boxes, which you can edit and position independently of each other.

When you create a text box, you also gain a few extra formatting options. For example, you can format the text itself, as well as the border, background, and shaping of your text box. Word has a variety of formats and effects that you can apply to your text AND your text box to make your design really stand out.

USING TEXT BOXES IN WORD LABEL TEMPLATES – INSERTING A TEXT BOX (AND TEXT)

word label templates - adding a text box

To insert a text box, click on the Insert tab at the top of the page and select Text Box. Word will give you a number of pre-formatted options along with a basic text box. If you like the look of one of the existing options, select it from the list (you can change the formatting later). Alternatively, choose the basic “Simple Text Box” so you have a blank canvas onto which you can add your own design elements. The simple text box contains placeholder text. Simply delete this out of the way and type in your required text.

USING TEXT BOXES IN WORD LABEL TEMPLATES – FORMATTING A TEXT BOX (AND/OR ITS TEXT)

Next, you’ll need to format your text box (and text) to make it look the part for your required design.

There are a number of ways you can format your text box (and text). For some of these, you’ll need to remember that the text box and the text within it are two separate elements forming a whole. Some formatting options will affect BOTH elements. Others will only apply to the text or the text box.

word label templates - formatting a text box

FORMATTING A TEXT BOX (AND/OR ITS TEXT) – The Size

Left click on your text box once to select it. You can then change the size of the text box in two ways.

  1. MANUALLY RESIZE: click on one of the sizing handles at the corners or middle of each edge. Hold down the left button and then move your cursor to increase or decrease the size of your text box before releasing the button. The corner handles allow you to change the width and height simultaneously, while the middle handles can only change one measurement at a time.
  2. USE THE SIZE TOOL: the size of your text box is displayed on the right hand side of the Drawing Tools Format tab. Change the measurements in the width and height boxes to change the size of your text box. This can be a more precise way to resize your text box, compared to doing it manually.

FORMATTING A TEXT BOX (AND/OR ITS TEXT) – The Text

Left click once on your text box to select it (and the text inside). You can make basic formatting changes using the Font Tools under the Home tab. For example, you can change the font, font size, font colour, and add emphasis (e.g. bold, italics, etc).

For more formatting options, use the Drawing Tools Format tab. In the WordArt Styles section, you will see plenty of formatting options that apply to the text itself.

This includes pre-formatted options as well as formatting tools that allow you to change the colour of your text, add a border to your text, and add shaping to your text. For example, you can add shadowing, reflections, glow and bevel effects, rotate your text, or use one of the “Transform” options to warp the shape of your text or make it follow a circular/semi-circular path.

FORMATTING A TEXT BOX (AND/OR ITS TEXT) – The Text Box

Tools in the Shape Styles section of the Drawing Tools Format tab allow you to format the text box itself. You can change the fill (background) of your text box, the outlines (border), and add shaping. For example, shadowing, reflections, glow and bevel effects, soft edges, and rotation effects.

You may need to change the background and border of your text box if you are creating a layered design. By default, text boxes have a solid white background and a black border. If your text box sits over another element – particularly one of a different colour – you need to make the background transparent and remove the border.

Select your text box and click on the Drawing Tools Format tab. To add a transparent background, click on Shape Fill and select No Fill. To remove the border, click on Shape Outline and select No Outline. Both of these are listed in the Shape Styles section of the ribbon.

Please note that adding a border to a text box will increase its overall size. You may need to bear this in mind if you are trying to create a border around the edges of your sticky labels or if your text box sits close to the edges of your blank labels – as your text box may end up being too big to sit in the correct position for your required design.

The “Edit Shape” option in the Insert Shapes section can be used to add a particular shape to your text box. This can be extremely useful if you are creating text boxes for use in sticky labels that have a particular shape – e.g. round labels / circular labels and oval labels.

By default, text boxes are given a Wrap Text format of “Square”. This should offer enough flexibility when positioning your text box within your label template. If you can’t position your text box as you’d like, try using “Tight”.

USING TEXT BOXES IN WORD LABEL TEMPLATES – LAYERING TEXT BOXES

To layer your text boxes above or below other elements in your design, use the Bring Forward and Send Backward options in the Drawing Tools Format tab. Each one provides you with three options:

  1. “Bring Forward” / “Send Backward” moves your text box forward or backward by one layer. I.e. it will move in front of or behind the adjacent layer/element.
  2. “Bring To Front” / “Send To Back” makes your text box the topmost or bottommost element regardless of how many elements you have layered above or below your selected text box.
  3. “Bring In Front Of Text” / “Send Behind Text” moves your text box so that it sits in front of or behind other elements that contain text.

Next week on Template Tuesday – How To? – How (And Why) You Should Perform A Test Print Of Your Label Templates

How To? – How (And Why) You Should Format Images In Word Label Templates

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Word is a word processor, which means that it will always be most efficient at handling words. It can be harder to work with images – especially in Word label templates. This post will talk you through some of the most important ways you can format (or edit) images to make it easier to create your required design – as well as explaining why it’s important to make use of these formatting options.

Formatting Images In Word Label Templates – WRAP TEXT

Among the most important tools (if not THE most important tool) for formatting images is the WRAP TEXT option. This tool allows you to choose how you want Word to position your image in relation to the text around it.

You may wonder why this is important – especially if your Word label template doesn’t contain any words.

The problem is that – as a word processor – Word assumes that you will add text at some point. It therefore uses a default Wrap Text format called “In Line With Text”. This positions your image “in line” with your text – regardless of whether or not you’ve actually added any text.

Essentially, Word divides your label template into (invisible) lines in preparation for the text it thinks you’re going to add. If you add an image, Word will only let you align it in relation to one of these lines. This limits where you can position your image. If you need even a little bit of control over the positioning of your image, you’ll need to change this setting.

It also gives you access to some formatting tools that are NOT available under the “In Line With Text” wrap option. It’s always worth changing the wrap text format even if you can position your image just fine with the default option.

How To Use Wrap Text In Word Label Templates.

Left click once on your image to select it. This will bring up the Picture Tools Format tab at the top of the page.

The Wrap Text tool is contained in the “Arrange” section of the ribbon.

You have a variety of options to choose from; we recommend choosing “Tight”. This means that Word will allow your image to sit very close to your text – giving you more flexibility over where you can position that image in your template.

If you have problems with your image disappearing behind your template or other text-based elements in your design, try using “In Front Of Text”.

word label templates formatting images wrap text

Formatting Images In Word Label Templates – BRING FORWARD & SEND BACKWARD

If you are creating a design by layering multiple elements (e.g. text, text boxes, WordArt, shapes, images etc), you will need to use the Bring Forward and Send Backward tools to layer your elements correctly.

You may also need to use the Bring Forward option, even if you aren’t layering elements. As we mentioned above, Word is designed primarily to handle text. This causes Word to also prioritise text-based elements over images. The result being that images that you add to your template may end up sitting behind the template itself (because it is a table and Word assumes you will want to add text to it at some point.

How To Use Bring Forward & Send Backward In Word Label Templates.

Left click once on your image to select it. This will bring up the Picture Tools Format tab at the top of the page.

Both the Bring Forward and Send Backward tools are contained in the “Arrange” section of the ribbon and provide three options.

  1. “Bring Forward” / “Send Backward” will move your image forward or backward by one layer. I.e. it will move in front of or behind the adjacent layer/element.
  2. “Bring To Front” / “Send To Back” will make your image the topmost or bottommost element regardless of how many elements you have layered above or below your selected image.
  3. “Bring In Front Of Text” / “Send Behind Text” will move your image so that it sits in front of or behind of ALL of the elements that contain text.

Remember, this includes elements that Word assumes you may want to add text to in the future – including the table used to create the label template itself.

If an image (or other element) is completely covered by another element, you may struggle to click on it to select it in order to layer it correctly. Click on the element that is covering it to bring up the Picture Tools Format (or Drawing Tools Format) tab. In the “Arrange” section, there is a tool called Selection Pane. This will bring up a pane on the right hand side, which shows ALL of the elements in your label template. Clicking on one of the elements in the selection pane will select that element for you.

Formatting Images In Word Label Templates – (RE)SIZE IMAGES

Obviously, if your design includes images they need to be the right size to fit onto your blank labels.

While you can add images into a Word label template and THEN resize them, we recommend trying to ensure that your images are about the right size BEFORE adding them to your template. Making minor adjustments to the size within a template is easy enough but adding in images that are too big or too small can cause extra problems.

For example, adding very large images could cause Word to try to be helpful by automatically changing the size and layout of your template to accommodate your content. This effectively destroys the alignment produced when you print your template.

A more common issue is that resizing images can also lower the quality of the image – especially if your image has low resolution. Making sure your image is the right size BEFORE you add it to your template helps to preserve the image quality.

One of our top tips is to paste your image into a blank Word document so that you can check to make sure that the image is the right size and quality for your needs – before pasting it into your label template.

How To Resize Images In Word Label Templates.

There are two ways to resize an image.

  1. Left click once on your image to select it. Selected images have sizing “handles” at the four corners and along each of the four edges of the image. Click on one of the handles and hold down the button as you drag your cursor outwards (to increase the size) or inwards (to decrease the size) – release the button to resize your image. The corner handles will alter the width AND height of the image; central handles only alter the width OR the height.
  2. Left click once on your image to select it. The far right section of the Picture Tools Format tab will indicate the width and height of your image. Enter the measurements that you want into these boxes to resize your image to a precise size.

With both options, you need to be aware that images may or may not have a “locked aspect ratio”. This refers to the relationship between the width and height of your image. A locked aspect ratio means that when you resize an image, Word preserves the proportions of your image.

For example, if you change the width of a 5cm by 5cm image to 3cm, the height will automatically change to 3cm to preserve the aspect ratio. Likewise, if you try to use a corner sizing handle to resize your image, you will only be able to create a larger or small square-shaped image.

If the aspect ratio is not locked, you can alter the width and the height independently of one another.

To change this setting, right click on your image and select “Size and Position”. On the Size tab, check or uncheck “Lock aspect ratio” as required.

word label templates - formatting images - resize image

Formatting Images In Word Label Templates – CROP IMAGES

Finally, you may need to crop your images to ensure they are a suitable shape for your label size.

For example, your original image may be rectangular in size but you need a square image for your square labels. Alternatively, you may have an image with a larger background area than you need, in which case you can use the Crop tool to reduce the original image to the area that you actually need/want to use.

Cropping images can also be a useful tool when you need your image to fill each blank label. You can crop your image down to the correct shape OR remove any unnecessary blank/background areas that prevent your image from fitting in your label template properly.

How To Crop Images In Word Label Templates.

Left click once on your image to select it. This will bring up the Picture Tools Format tab at the top of the page.

The Crop tool is contained in the “Size” section of the ribbon. You can crop your image in a number of ways:

  1. Clicking on the Crop button will add crop handles to your image. You use these in the same way as the sizing handles – only when you release the button, your image will be cropped to the area that you select rather than resized.
  2. Selecting Crop To Shape in the drop down list will create a shaped area into which you can crop your image (you can choose the size of this area using the crop handles). This is a quick way to, for example, crop a rectangular image down into a circular image.
  3. Selecting Aspect Ratio in the drop down list allows you to make sure that when you crop your image you can create a specific aspect ratio accurately (compared to trying to do this manually using the crop handles).

word label templates - formatting images - crop

Next Week On Template Tuesday: How To? – How (And Why) You Should Use Text Boxes In Word Label Templates

How To? – How To Use Label Planet’s Mirrored Label Templates

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Last week, we explained how to use our text box label templates. This week, we’re taking a look at our mirrored label templates. The two are essentially the same with one key difference. In our mirrored label templates, each text box has been mirrored (or reversed). In this post, we’ll explain why these label templates are set up in this way, when to use them, and how to use them to design and print your own self adhesive labels.

What Are Mirrored Label Templates?

In addition to providing Word label templates and PDF label templates for all of our label sizes, we also  supply a range of formats to suit the various kinds of designs that our customers may want to produce. One of these extra formats is our mirrored label templates.

In this format, your label template will include a mirrored text box in each of the blank labels on your sheet. Like our text box label templates, each text box has a centralised layout and allows your text to fit neatly within each blank label.

mirrored label templates

Each text box has been rotated to flip your text box into a reverse or mirrored position. To read the text you either need to hold it up to a mirror OR view the text from the reverse side.  – as is the case when printing transparent window stickers.

You can use the mirrored text boxes as they are or change them to suit your required label design.

When Should You Use Mirrored Label Templates?

The main use for mirrored label templates is to create window stickers. Your mirrored design can be printed onto transparent labels that are to be applied onto the “inside” side of a window. When viewed from outside, the text appears in the “correct” direction.

The text boxes are set up to ensure that your design fits neatly within your blank labels AND is automatically mirrored. So you don’t have to worry about making too many adjustments yourself. Mirrored label templates are brilliant for beginners who haven’t designed window stickers at all. They’re especially useful if you’re not confident or familiar with Word’s tools – like those required to reverse designs. This label template does most of the work for you. All you need to do is replace the text in each text box and choose any style elements that you want to add to personalise your design. You can also use these label templates if you’re more experienced BUT you’d like to use a template that speeds up the design process.

How Do You Use Mirrored Label Templates?

Left click inside the first text box. The text box will automatically shift into a non-mirrored view until you click outside of the box. At this point, your text will revert to its mirrored state. After clicking inside the text box, select the existing placeholder text and delete it. Type in the text you want printed onto your sticky labels.

Repeat this process for each of the text boxes in your label template OR use copy and paste to speed things up…

  • Select and copy the text you have entered into the first text box. Click into the second text box, delete the existing text, and then paste your text into that text box. Repeat for each of the text boxes in your label template OR…
  • Delete all of the text boxes – EXCEPT FOR THE FIRST ONE. Select the first label (including the text box) by positioning your cursor in the bottom left corner of the first label and triple clicking the left button on your mouse quickly. Copy this selection and then paste it into the rest of your blank labels.

mirrored label templates - add your own textYou can replace the existing text and print your sticky labels although you may want to add extra design features. The simplest way to decorate text-based designs is to change the font and to add elements like a coloured background or image

To do this, we recommend adding your design to the first blank label only. Then delete the rest of the mirrored text boxes before using copy and paste to fill in your label template.

How To Change The Font Of Your Text Box

You can change the font of your text BEFORE or AFTER adding your text.

  • BEFORE: Delete the existing placeholder text from the first text box. Select your font and style options using the “Font” section of the HOME tab and/or the “WordArt Styles” section of the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab. Then type in your required font.
  • AFTER: Delete the existing text from the first text box and type in (or paste in) your required text. Select your text and then apply your preferred font and style options.

mirrored label templates - choosing font and style optionsYou can also decorate the text box itself, for example, by adding a border or coloured background. Click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab at the top of the page. Change the format of your text box using the tools in the “Shape Styles” section.

Think carefully about the shape and layout of your label size when adding coloured backgrounds and borders. To create a coloured background, your text box must fill each blank label (or overlap it slightly if possible). Borders must be thick enough to overlap the edges of your blank labels. This will increase the overall size of your text box, so you may need to resize your text box to get the correct alignment.

How To Add Images & Background To Your Mirrored Label Template

You can add images or additional text boxes next to the existing text boxes.

Adding Additional Elements Next To Your Text Box

First, reduce the size of the existing text box to make room for your image or new text box. Next, use the INSERT tab to insert your image or text box (or paste an image / text box copied from elsewhere). We recommend making sure your image is the right size before pasting it into your label template. We also recommend changing the Wrap Text format to Tight. To do this, select your image and click on the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab that appears at the top of the page. Click on “Wrap Text” and select “Tight”. This will allow you much greater control over the positioning of your image.

Remember that item you add that contains any directional elements (e.g. text) will need to be mirrored:

  • Mirror an image: select your image and click on the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab. Click on “Rotate” and select “Flip Horizontal”.
  • Mirror a text box: select your text box and click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab. Click on “Shape Effects” (in Shape Styles). Select 3-D Rotation from the drop down list and click on 3-D Rotation Options. In the sidebar, set “X Rotation” to 180°. This will add a grey background to your text box. Click on “Shape Fill” and select “No Fill” (for a transparent box) or white (for a white background).

mirrored label template - adding an image

Adding Additional Elements Behind Your Text Box

Alternatively, you could add an image or background colour behind your text box.

You may need to resize the image to fill your blank label. You should also change the Wrap Text format to Tight. Next, select your text box and click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab. Click on “Bring Forward” and select “Bring To Front”. This will layer your text box on top of your image.

Remember to flip directional images as outlined above.

You can also add a background colour by changing the colour of the template itself (which is basically a table). Select the table by moving your cursor to the top left of the table until it turns into a four headed arrow. Left click once to select the table. Now you can click on the TABLE TOOLS DESIGN tab at the top of the page and use the “Shading” option to add a background colour. Remember that this colour will ONLY apply to your template. You could add the same colour background to your text box – although our mirrored text boxes are transparent by default. This can be done using the “Shape Fill” option in the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab.

Remember, if you are adding any additional elements we strongly recommend setting up your design in the first blank label. Delete the existing text boxes from the rest of the label template. Then select your first completed label. Place your cursor in the bottom left corner and triple click the left button quickly. Copy your design and then paste it into the rest of your blank labels.

Download Mirrored Label Templates From Label Planet

To download any of our label templates, simply head on over to our Label Templates home page. Click on your label shape and select your label size from the list. This takes you to the individual Label Template information page for your self adhesive labels. Download links can be found in the middle of this page. Our mirrored label templates are listed under the Word Templates column. Choose a portrait or landscape mirrored label template (if applicable) and left click once on the purple link to start the download process.

Your label template will usually be downloaded to your Downloads folder. If you are asked if you want to open or save the file, we recommend choosing save. We also recommend opening Word (or other word processing software) first and using “File” > “Open” to locate and open your label template. Remember, the file will probably be locked for security reasons because you downloaded it from the internet. There should be a yellow banner going across the top of the page. Click on the Enable Editing button to unlock the label template.

You should be able to see the layout of your sticky labels in the form of a dotted grey outline. If you cannot see this outline, Table Gridlines are turned off. To turn them on again, left click once anywhere in the middle of the page to bring up the TABEL TOOLS LAYOUT tab. Click on the “View Gridlines” button on the left hand side of the ribbon.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – Definitions: What Is A Bleed Label Template?

How To? – How To Use Label Planet’s Text Box Label Templates

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

One of the formats we provide for our Word label templates is Text Box Label Templates. In this week’s Template Tuesday, we’ll explain what these label templates are, when to use them, and how to use them to design and print your own self adhesive labels.

What Are Text Box Label Templates?

Here at Label Planet, we provide label templates for all of our label sizes. We supply a range of template formats to suit the various designs that our customers may wish to create. One of these is our text box label templates format.

In this format, your label template will include a text box in each of the blank labels on your sheet.

text box label templates

Each text box has a centralised layout and allows your text to fit neatly within each blank label. You can use the text boxes as they are or change them to suit the design you are creating.

When Should You Use Text Box Label Templates?

Our text box label templates are designed to create sticky labels that are printed with text only. The text boxes are set up to ensure that your design fits neatly within your blank labels. So you don’t have to worry about making too many adjustments yourself. These label templates are brilliant for beginners who haven’t designed self adhesive labels at all. They’re especially useful if you’re not confident using Word’s tools to adjust a label template to perfect your alignment. This label template does most of the work for you. All you need to do is replace the text in each text box and choose any style elements that you want to add to personalise your design. Of course, you can also use these label templates if you’re more of a template expert but you want a label template that speeds up the process of adding your design.

How Do You Use Text Box Label Templates?

Left click inside the first text box. This will allow you to select the existing placeholder text and delete it. Type in the text you want printed onto your sticky labels. Repeat this process for each of the text boxes or use copy and paste to speed things up…

  • Select and copy the text you have entered into the first text box. Click into the second text box, delete the existing text, and then paste your text into that text box. Repeat for each of the text boxes in your label template. OR…
  • Delete all of the text boxes – EXCEPT FOR THE FIRST ONE. Select the first label (including the text box) by positioning your cursor in the bottom left corner of the first label and triple clicking the left button on your mouse quickly. Copy this selection and then paste it into the rest of your blank labels.

text box label templates - adding your own textYou can simply replace the existing text with your own text and print your sticky labels. Alternatively, you may wish to add some additional design features. When working with text-based designs, the main ways to add design elements is to alter the font and to add elements like a coloured background or image.

If you wish to do this, we recommend setting up your design in the first blank label, removing the rest of the text boxes, and using copy and paste to fill in your label template.

How To Change The Font Of Your Text Box

You can change the font of your text BEFORE or AFTER adding your text.

  • BEFORE: Delete the existing placeholder text from the first text box. Select your font and style options using the “Font” section of the HOME tab and/or the “WordArt Styles” section of the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab. Then type in your required font.
  • AFTER: Delete the existing text from the first text box and type in (or paste in) your required text. Select your text and then apply your preferred font and style options.

text box label templates - choosing font and style optionsYou can also change the style of the text box itself. For example, you can add a border or coloured background to your text boxes. Click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab at the top of the page to change the format of your text box using the tools in the “Shape Styles” section.

Take care when adding coloured backgrounds and borders. You need to consider the shape and layout of your label size to avoid white edges appearing on your printed sticky labels. If you add a coloured background, your text box must fill each blank label (or overlap it slightly if possible). If you use a border, make it thick enough to overlap the edges of your blank labels. This increases the overall size of your text box, so you may need to resize your text box to get the correct alignment.

How To Add Images & Backgrounds To Your Text Box Label Template

You can add images or additional text boxes next to the existing text boxes.

Adding Additional Elements Next To Your Text Box

First, reduce the size of the existing text box to make room for your addition. Next, use the INSERT tab to insert your image or text box (or paste an image / text box copied from elsewhere). We recommend making sure your image is the right size before pasting it into your label template. We also recommend changing the Wrap Text format to Tight. To do this, select your image and click on the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab that appears at the top of the page. Click on “Wrap Text” and select “Tight”. This will allow you much greater control over the positioning of your image within your label design.

text box label template - adding an image

Adding Additional Elements Behind Your Text Box

Alternatively, you could add an image or background colour behind your text box.

When adding a background image, you need to make your text box transparent as they are solid white in colour by default. Select the text box and click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab at the top of the page. Click on “Shape Fill” and select “No Fill”. Next, insert your image. You may need to resize the image to fill your blank label. You should also change the Wrap Text format to Tight. Next, select your text box and click on the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab. Click on “Bring Forward” and select “Bring To Front”. This will layer your text box on top of your image.

text box label templates - background layers

You can also add a background colour by changing the colour of the template itself (which is basically a table). Select the table by moving your cursor to the top left of the table until it turns into a four headed arrow. Left click once to select the table. Now you can click on the TABLE TOOLS DESIGN tab at the top of the page and use the “Shading” option to add a background colour. Remember that this colour will ONLY apply to your template. If you want your text boxes to match, you will either need to add the same colour background to your text box or make your text box transparent. Both can be done using the “Shape Fill” option in the DRAWING TOOLS FORMAT tab.

Remember, if you are adding any additional elements we strongly recommend setting up your design in the first blank label. Delete the existing text boxes from the rest of the label template. Then select your first completed label. Place your cursor in the bottom left corner and triple click the left button quickly. Copy your design and then paste it into the rest of your blank labels.

Download A Text Box Label Template From Label Planet

To download any of our label templates, simply head on over to our Label Templates home page. Click on your label shape and then select your label size from the list. This takes you to the individual Label Template information page for your self adhesive labels. Our label template download links can be found in the middle of this page. You will find our text box label templates under the Word Templates column. Decide if you want a portrait or landscape text box label template (if applicable) and left click once on the purple link to start the download process.

Your label template will usually be downloaded to your Downloads folder. If you are asked if you want to open or save the file, we recommend choosing save. We also recommend opening Word (or other word processing software) first and using “File” > “Open” to locate and open your label template. Remember, the file will probably be locked for security reasons because you downloaded it from the internet. There should be a yellow banner going across the top of the page. Click on the Enable Editing button to unlock the label template.

You should be able to see the layout of your sticky labels in the form of a dotted grey outline. If you cannot see this outline, Table Gridlines are turned off. To turn them on again, left click once anywhere in the middle of the page to bring up the TABEL TOOLS LAYOUT tab. Click on the “View Gridlines” button on the left hand side of the ribbon.

Next Week On Template Tuesday – How To? How To Use Label Planet’s Mirrored Text Box Label Templates

How To? – How To Print Address Labels Using Mail Merge In Word

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

On Template Tuesday this week, we’re going to go through the steps involved in printing a set of (different) address labels using Word’s Mail Merge Tool. This guide will explain how to use Mail Merge to combine a Word label template with a saved list of addresses to create individual address labels.

Before you start, you will need:

  • A data source (your list of addresses). You can use an Excel Spreadsheet, Outlook Contact List, Office Address List, Word Data File, Access Database, or Text File.
  • A label template. Ideally, you should use a compatible Avery template that is built into Word. You can find compatible Avery templates (where applicable) for Label Planet’s sticky labels in our Label Templates section or by clicking on the purple “Label Templates and Printing Information” link on the relevant product page. If your label size doesn’t have a compatible Avery code, you will need a saved copy of a suitable Word label template OR the measurements of your A4 labels. Word label templates and measurements for all of our label sizes can be found in our Label Templates section.

We recommend using Word’s STEP BY STEP MAIL MERGE WIZARD and this guide will show you how to use the Wizard to create your set of address labels.

MAIL MERGE: START THE MAIL MERGE WIZARD

Open Word and create a blank document. Click on the MAILINGS tab at the top of the page. Click on START MAIL MERGE and select STEP BY STEP MAIL MERGE WIZARD.

Label Templates Mail Merge - Start The Mail Merge Wizard

This opens the Mail Merge Wizard panel on the right hand side of your screen. This panel will guide you through the SIX STEPS of the mail merge. You will primarily use this panel to set up your address labels.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 1 – SELECT DOCUMENT TYPE

To create a set of address labels, you will need to select LABELS from the list of documents.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 2 – SELECT STARTING DOCUMENT

This is where you select your label template. As mentioned above, you can use a compatible Avery template, a Word template you have previously downloaded and saved, or create a new label template.

Avery Template – select CHANGE DOCUMENT LAYOUT and click on LABEL OPTIONS. Set “Printer Information” to “Page Printers” and the “Label Vendor” to “Avery A4/A5” and click OK.

Label Templates Mail Merge - Select Starting Document

Create A Label Template – follow the steps above but instead of choosing an Avery code, click on NEW LABEL. This will open the LABEL DETAILS box. Fill in the measurements of your label size and layout, then click OK to create your label template. We’ve written a Template Tuesday guide to creating label templates, which you can view here.

Saved Label Templates – select START FROM EXISTING DOCUMENT and click on OPEN. Browse to your saved label template and open it.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 3 – SELECT RECIPIENTS

This is where you select your data source (list of addresses). You can use an existing list, saved Outlook contacts, or type a new list at this moment. To open an existing list, click on “Use an existing list”, and then browse to and open your saved address list.

If your data source has multiple sections (e.g. a spreadsheet with two or more sheets), you will need to indicate which section contains your addresses. You also need to indicate if your data source has column headers (e.g. “Name”, “Address Line 1” etc).

Label Templates Mail Merge - Select Recipients

You will then be shown a list of the addresses that Word has found in your data source. You can use this box to sort and filter your addresses – and exclude any you don’t want to use. Once you have confirmed your list of addresses, the NEXT RECORD rule will appear in all of the blank labels in your template (apart from the first one).

Label Templates Mail Merge - The Next Record Rule

If you have used a saved label template, you will need to add in this rule yourself. Left click inside the second label. In the MAILINGS tab at the top of the page, you will see a RULES option. Click on this and select NEXT RECORD to add the rule to the second label. Repeat this for each of the remaining blank labels OR copy and paste the rule into the remaining blank labels. Remember to leave the FIRST LABEL blank.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 4 – ARRANGE YOUR LABELS

This is where you add your label design. We recommend adding your design to the first blank label and then using copy and paste to fill in the rest of your template. The Mail Merge Wizard Panel contains a tool (UPDATE ALL LABELS) to do this for you.

This option is NOT available if you have used a saved label template. If you need to use copy and paste to complete your label template, you must remember to make sure that you leave the NEXT RECORD rule in place.

When you want to add a piece of information from your data source, you need to add a placeholder to your design. The placeholders look like the Next Record rule but will have a name taken from the column headers in your data source – e.g. «column_header». The Mail Merge wizard includes preformatted options (like the ADDRESS BLOCK option) to add groups of placeholders. Alternatively, you can add individual placeholders using the MORE ITEMS option.

Label Templates Mail Merge - Arrange Your Labels

When building up your design you need to bear in mind that the information that replaces your placeholders may take up MORE OR LESS space once you complete the merge. You can preview your address labels in the next step (and go back and forth to make amendments as necessary).

If you do need to make changes, you can simply update the first label and use the UPDATE ALL LABELS option to update the rest of your template.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 5 – PREVIEW YOUR LABELS

The Wizard creates a preview of your finished address labels. Use this preview to make sure your addresses fit properly within your design (and on your blank labels) before you print.

We recommend scrolling through a few of your addresses. In particular, if you know one address is longer than the rest, check to see that this particular address fits neatly onto your blank labels.

If you find any problems, you can go back a step to amend your design. Alternatively, if just one or two of your addresses are problematic, use the EDIT RECIPIENT LIST option to alter those addresses.

MAIL MERGE: STEP 6 – COMPLETE THE MERGE

This step merges your label template and data source.

Before printing all of your address labels, we recommend doing a quick test print onto blank paper to make sure the alignment is correct. Click on PRINT and select the FROM option. Set the From/To values to reflect the number of blank labels on each sheet (i.e. if you have 21 blank labels per sheet, test print addresses 1-21).

You should also review your print settings. Make sure you select a “Labels” or “Heavy Paper” print setting. The page size must be set to A4 and use the media bypass tray (if your printer has one). Make sure no scaling options are selected (e.g. less than 100% or “Fit to…”).

When you are happy with the alignment of your test print, load your blank labels into your printer, and print your address labels.

Next Week On Template Tuesday: Troubleshooting Tips – Mail Merge & Avery Template Codes